cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which has spread to my sternum.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

Treatment plan and moving forward

Tom and I met with both the radiation oncologist and the oncologist today. The bone scan confirmed there is active cancer in quite a few bones, but only two of them are causing pain right now – my sternum and back (T9).

The current plan is to have two weeks of radiation to target the broken vertebrae in my back as that will give the quickest pain relief. Hopefully this will relieve some of the pain in my ribs when I breathe as well. Ladies, you know the pain of breathing when you are 9 months pregnant? That’s the best way to describe it right now….except I’m not 9 months pregnant. 🙂

Then we have two treatment options to target everything else. The first one is a chemo pill, with similar side effects to IV chemo, but less severe. The biggest side effects being diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome and fatigue. The other option is a lower dose chemo pill and either the hormone blocking pill that I have taken and hated in the past, or the hormone blocking pill can be substituted for a shot that does the same thing….we assume my body will respond the same way it has to all 4 pills with bone pain, but that is unknown.

read more…

Partial Results

I was planning on waiting to share all this after we meet with the oncologists on Friday, but this is just too hard. We have been slowly telling people as needed, but I’ll be honest, I feel like we are falling apart. None of us know what to do. I apologize if you are reading this and I’m not telling you in person, but there were multiple spots on my spine, hips and possibly my sternum on my CT scan, meaning the cancer has returned. I’m reaching out for help as needed, but there’s not a lot any of us can do right now and it’s just hard.

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Insurance approval of scan (finally)

Insurance finally approved the bone scan and it is scheduled for October 10th. They said that because of the hurricane on the east coast, there was a shortage of the medicine they use for the test, so they had to reschedule a bunch of them, making that appointment the first available. I love waiting. 🙂

Scan Scheduled

insurance denied the pet scan until other imaging is done to show that it is medically necessary. My oncologist ordered a CT scan and a bone scan. The CT scan has been approved and is scheduled for this Monday at 10. Still waiting on the approval of the bone scan.

This Time of Year

Since my original diagnosis was in the fall of 2015, this time of year there tends to be lots of appointments and scans. There is my follow up with the oncologist, the mammogram, bone density test and PET Scan or CT Scan. This year, I’ve added in a few more because I love them so much. I’ll also be seeing an orthopedic Dr. and visiting the radiation oncologist again. More on that below…

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Jennifer – read this if you think of trying to take the hormone blocking pill again (and other stuff)

This is a note to myself in case I ever have the thought again to try taking an aromatase inhibitor.

Don’t. Just don’t.

Remember the constant pain, making it hard to take care of your home and your family. Remember how that pain made any other pain 10 times worse. Remember the horrible quality of life and that it is not worth it.

Okay enough of that…here’s what’s been going on.

read more…

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
neuropathy after chemo

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation